We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

Rumors swirl as Ubuntu prepares 'disruptive' announcement

A teaser on the home page of popular Linux distribution Ubuntu hints at a major new smartphone and tablet-related release, as time ticks down to an announcement set for 1 p.m. EST.

MORE UBUNTU: Stallman slams Ubuntu, calls Amazon integration 'spyware'

MORE LINUX: How removing 386 support in Linux will destroy the world

The tagline "so close, you can almost touch it," combined with Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth's post-Christmas message vowing a new focus on mobility in 2013 has Ubuntu-watchers predicting a major new step into the mobile world.

"Unity in 2013 will be all about mobile - bringing Ubuntu to phones and tablets. Shaping Unity to provide the things we've learned are most important across all form factors, beautifully. Broadening the Ubuntu community to include mobile developers who need new tools and frameworks to create mobile software. Defining new form factors that enable new kinds of work and play altogether," wrote Shuttleworth on Dec. 26.

A version of Ubuntu for Android is already available, boasting desktop integration and robust multi-core support, though it's really more of an add-on than a full mobile OS.

Canonical, then, could be preparing to announce anything from a touch-centric version of Ubuntu optimized for use as a stand-alone mobile platform to its own custom tablet. The company has pursued an Apple-esque policy in promoting the announcement, hinting strongly at possibilities but declining to provide specific details ahead of time.

It's difficult to get a sense of Canonical's prospects in the mobile market. While it's far more fluid than the world of desktop and laptop PCs - where Linux in general has had a hard time catching on among average consumers - Google and Apple have commanding market share leads that could limit Ubuntu's appeal as a platform, regardless of whether Canonical opts to release its own hardware.

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

IDG UK Sites

Best camera phone of 2015: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 vs One M9 vs Nexus 6

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model